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Thanks for a great, very topical class. My shoulders thank you.
One day after attending many yoga classes with Monica Voss, I was in my studio working as a visual artist and I reached down to pick something up and suddenly much of what we had been talking about in yoga class made sense to me. I could feel my arm stretching out, I could feel the muscles, I could feel my legs as they bent to accommodate my posture. Everything I had been learning about yoga postures came together for me and I could connect them to my day to day activities at home.
A really great teacher instructs something that you may not understand in the moment but then you go out into your life and find yourself connecting with what you have learned.
I find this way of teaching leads to an open exploration of movement and body awareness. The grounding is so helpful in learning how to relax and truly move from a natural organic place. I like that you don’t have to hold postures rigidly but are able to experience and explore the poses for yourself and make them your own.
Monica and Tama are gracious, generous, compassionate and wise. Their classes are always enlightening: elegantly devised, safe, sophisticated and mindful of their students’ physical abilities, emotional needs and intellectual or spiritual concerns. They’ve taught thousands of students over the years, young and old, in Canada and around the world. And they never cease to refine their technique or their deep understanding of yoga.
“Breathing, grounding and elongation of the spine” is the mantra of their yoga. And, as it turns out, for living.
What a great class today! Just loved the energy in the room. There seemed to be great curiosity, openness and wonder, and a shared love of the learning.
I would like to say how much I appreciate your teaching style, Tama (Soble). It is likely not possible for one teacher’s style to work for everyone, but I must say that I find your style to be gentle and welcoming, with so much valuable information and a knowledge of the area that appears to be very deep. Your approach of providing detailed tools and options and having people find what works for them I find to be very appealing. You offer things to folks without judging them and it makes me feel welcome. It also seemed to be working very well for people of different levels, which I would expect could be a challenge for a teacher.
I feel privileged to have had a teacher with such strong facilitation skills as you have. While I don’t have too much experience with yoga, I have experience in different learning environments, and I don’t think I am over-stating things or being dramatic when I say that you are a gifted teacher. Thank you for your guidance and leadership on this continuing journey.
I enjoyed today’s class very much because of your extensive commentary about the relationship between movement and relaxation. Some of your comments were quite profound and will require further exploration as I continue my practice. I am always thankful that you take the time to express your thought processes and reflections on various aspects of different poses and concepts as it helps to keep things interesting and to provoke further learning, especially as a teacher in training.
It was lovely to be back in the studio again. Just what I needed. I especially loved getting to know my collar bones and their movements – so cool!
You seem to surprise me with a new experience every time I attend. Thank you.
The breathing focus was a good entry point for me towards gradually and gently bringing my yoga practice fully back into my life. All 4 classes I attended this month stimulated learning for me, but the mudra class was particularly impactful. I experienced each of the 4 mudras in the first set as strongly connected to an emotion or a resource. I realized that I could use these mudras to call up one of those emotions or resources when I needed it – grounding, openness, nurturing, intellect. It sounds so simple and rather obvious; how could I have missed it until now?! Readiness…
From the first beginners’ class I took the teachers’ clued in to my persistent lower back problems. The culture at this Studio notices individuals, their aches and pains as well as their abilities and potential. Teachers always offer tips for adjusting poses. You don’t need to worry – as I certainly do in aerobic classes – about straining areas: back in my case, shoulders, knees, wrists, whatever.
Of the many things I love about yoga classes here, top of the list is the effort teachers invest in each student to reduce her/his body damage and stress.
This is to thank you again for the four day intensive. It was a well rounded series from which I was able to take a key aspect each day to support exploration in my practice. Inspiring!
I knew that I missed taking classes over the past number of months and after the first class I was reminded of how enriching it is to be a student. You have an extraordinary gift in using metaphorical language that touches the body. I look forward to returning to classes on a regular basis.
I wish to thank you for the prenatal classes and all the support we have received from you! The birth was an amazingly powerful experience, and all the practice in grounding, breathing and staying present definitely helped.
Now that I am a mommy, you were so right about the arms and head being in one position all the time, and the stiff shoulders, and the lost hips. There is barely any time to squeeze in any stretches, but I try.
I want to thank you so much for the Empowering the Aging Body weekend which I felt was outstanding. We are really fortunate to have found EM studio. The arc of the learning is interesting. Friday was so stimulating, all of it was wonderful. Some of the learning was gentle, some of it was startling. Things seep through and then a year later, they seep through more securely and who knows what could happen a year from now? The feeling of feeling full but sensing there is still lots more room, is wonderful.
I just wanted to say a big thank you to each of you for the classes and intensives I attended this summer. As a teacher myself, even though I was on holiday I couldn’t help reflecting on the pedagogy at the Studio, and I wanted to share this observation: you are each so effective at tuning in to your students in your own distinct ways. I experienced such a range of paths into my body, mind and spirit in your classes, yet it is clear you all share that fundamental skill of compassionate, genuine attunement to your students.
Many thanks for all your brought to your teaching – your humour, insight, and student focus.
I look forward to seeing you in the fall.
With respect and gratitude,
Each class is, for me, a beautiful, liberating, even mysterious journey into my body and into stillness, places that I have not been encouraged to explore much in my life. I always leave feeling strong, calm, and empowered. You are doing important healing work for me, and I’m sure many others. I’m very grateful to have discovered yoga, and your particular take on it.
This is just a little note to say thank you so much for your calm and positive and peaceful Pre Natal Yoga classes during my pregnancy. I gave birth to a lovely baby girl, and the labour was a better experience for your help. I’m excited to bring her to postnatal classes with you in the next few months!
I can’t say enough about Monica and the Parents and Babies class. The quiet space (figuratively and literally – I loved those tatami mats) was such a blessing and a time to be myself with the second babe. I rave about the class to all my friends. It is just a bit of magic and Monica is really the gentlest guide through a sometimes wild new adventure in your body.
When I retired I realized it was essential to keep going, to keep working on flexibility in order to prevent all the things that can happen if we are not mobile as we age. Aging is not an easy process, but the yoga can be very helpful in all aspects; physical, spiritual, emotional. And there are a lot of different ages and bodies in the classes I go to, very encouraging.
I like the companionship of the mat and the different activities that are offered. I found in doing the teacher’s training I developed a whole new “career” so to speak.
I came because it seemed a good way to expand my physical universe…unwind, stretch my body, and feel better about myself. It makes me feel relaxed and energized at the same time! A combination of moods I previously would not have put together.
Slowly over the last few years my body has seemingly become stronger. The Studio encourages you to trust your body and your senses…and to listen to that small voice inside your head….something I hugely appreciate.
I love the accepting philosophy…the idea that there is no rigid right or wrong…
just something that may be right or wrong for your body at a specific period in time.
I also really appreciate that the focus is on movement….and keeping the body/spine fluid. I like the idea that we can unblock tension and become more at ease. It allows for the possibility of growth and development….physically and mentally.
That’s a wonderful feeling for someone getting older…instead of feeling less capable, or less limber,
I feel more able…and more willing to try new things!!
Mary is a psychotherapist practising in Toronto
As my body is aging and I feel the changes in flexibility and endurance I want to keep stretching and embracing the changes rather than resisting them. Yoga helps me do that! I always feel encouraged and respected by all your teachers and never judged and I really enjoy the community of “sister” travellers.
A few years ago at my annual check-up with my physician I discovered that I had grown a half inch!! She did not seem very curious so I decided to share with her the benefits of yoga as I believe that my “growth” was the result of a regular practice.
I came to Esther Myers Yoga Studio eight or so years ago when I retired because I loved your style of teaching. I appreciated the opportunity to continue to grow in my yoga but in a safe and accepting atmosphere. I love yoga and I love the classes at EMYS. I believe yoga has kept me healthy and peaceful.